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What would you do?

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Old 06-16-2006, 02:54 AM   #1
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Question What would you do?

Ok, here's my problem.
I have been following a calorie counting plan that gives me 1580-1880 calories per day. Now when I'm at or under 1880 calories for a few days I find myself ravenous one day and want to eat and eat and eat.

I was considering uping calories a bit, say to between 1950-2000, to see if I will still be losing on that number of calories but eliminate that ravenous day.

So what do you all think?
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:12 AM   #2
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I'd trial an increase for two weeks, and see what the scales do. If the scales go up, just suck it up, and go back down again.

It may pay to take a look at where your calories are coming from. I'm no great example at the moment, but I know if I have a 100 calorie snack in the morning of an apple and a tablespoon of cottage cheese, I am less hungry during the day than if those 100 calories came from rice cakes - for example.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:14 AM   #3
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I don't know what kind of plan you are on, so this might be way off base... but instead of raising your calories, have you tried to change your proportions of carbs, protein, and fat? Perhaps increasing your protein, decreasing some carbs and staying in that same calorie range will still provide the satisfaction you need.
I am eventually going to be following a low glycemic index diet, and maybe that is something you would be interested in... eating high glycemic carbs causes high insulin levels, which in turn makes us hungry sooner...
It would be a small adjustment, really, nothing drastic...
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:32 AM   #4
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Yup, what they both said. Some folks have pretty good luck with increasing their protein.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:44 AM   #5
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I agree -- before upping the cals, take a look at what you're eating (try adding protein and fiber) and the timing of meals and snacks...
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:56 AM   #6
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Hi Laura!
Does it have anything to do with the time/spacing of your meals? Are you eating too much at once and not having enough calories left over to carry you through the rest of the day? That seems to be the issue for me sometimes. If I space my food out properly, I never really get hungry but I not actually full either.

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:09 AM   #7
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But remember, it's also calories out that is part of the equation. I don't know about you, but as I've lost my last 20 lbs I have had a huge increase in the amount of exercise that I get out of my exercise time, if you get my meaning.

Just my cardio 1/2 hour alone is now ranging in the 550 cal range (according to the machines) most days as opposed to 490 (according to the same machines). Then there is the extra weight I can lift, all of the extra walks I've been doing and the fact that I can now "jog" a bit around the racquetball court after balls.

The crux of it is that even though I am following the exact same eating plan, and although my daily maintenance cal's has dropped by over 100 cal's per day (again according to estimators, I know this stuff isn't set in stone) I've been losing weight faster than ever and am seriously considering upping my cals for a while.

So, long story short, you might want to really consider how much of a workout your workouts are now. There is a difference between craving and hunger- I know you know that . If you are really, truly feeling ravenous on some days, there very well might be a very valid reason, and you might want to consider slipping in an extra portion of something healthy here and there.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:13 AM   #8
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I would think that 1880 cals should be enough to get you through the day. I also wonder if you might be better off examining what your eating and when.

Care to share???
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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It may also make a difference what type of carbs you are eating. Lower glycemic carbs (brown rice, yams, berries, 100% whole wheat bread, etc) don't cause the cravings that items with sugar, white flour and white rice do.

I'd also make sure that you are eating carbs alone (which can also cause cravings). Eatings carbs with protein will also reduce cravings.

You might also look at how you are eating your meals. Are you eating 3 meals a day? If you are, you might want to consider breaking up your meals into 5-6 meals/day so that you are keeping yourself level throughout the day rather than spiking 3 times/day.

Lastly, I'd look at your fiber intake. Fiber helps a lot with cravings. I take fiber every morning and it has helped me quite a bit.
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:10 AM   #10
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Ok, here's what I eat on an on-plan day:
Breakfast: Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal with light vanilla soymilk and sliced banana
OR
Egg substitute scrambled with onions, bell peppers and cheese; whole wheat toast; soy sausage links or turkey sausage links
Snack: sliced apple with peanutbutter
OR
Turkey Wrap Up (low carb/high fiber tortilla with romaine lettuce, turkey, low fat ranch dressing and fat free cheese)
Lunch: Turkey and Cheese sandwich on high fiber/low calorie bread; baby carrots; small salad with fat free or low fat dressing
Snack: Kashi GoLean Crunchy Chocolate Peanut bar (9 gram protein, 6 gram fiber and lots of vitamins)
OR
one orange and a 6 oz cup of low fat yogurt
Dinner: HUGE salad (4 or 5 cups romaine lettuce) with 6 oz chicken breast topped with low fat or fat free dressing and perhaps some imitation bacon bits and/or low fat shredded cheese
OR
steamed broccoli and cauliflower and carrots sprinkled with ms dash original with Boca veggie burger with cheese on a reduced calorie wheat bun with bbq sauce or ketchup and onion.

Unless I really keep thinking about it I have a tendency to eat just my 3 meals each day and skip snacks. That leaves me over hungry by meal time and we all know that is a recipe for disaster!

Never thought about my protein intake. Looking over my food logs for the last two weeks I've noticed my protein is between 50-80 grams for most days. I will keep it above 100 grams for a few days. See if that helps.
Carbs are usually between 150 and 250 grams. Most of them are from high fiber foods, fruits and vegetables.

As far as exercise goes, my minimum is 3 days a week 1 hour on each of those days (Monday and Wednesday-TKD class (30 minutes strength training-push ups, sit ups, etc with 30 minutes cardio), Saturday-Stability ball class (Mainly counts as strength training).
I'm thinking that on Monday and Wednesday I should double up those days and take a bike ride or go for a run in the morning and add some extra cardio on those days. Maybe Saturdays too.
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 30-60 minute run or, now that I have a bike helmet, 45-60 minute bike ride.
Sunday is my rest day.
What I'd like to do this summer is bike ride to the lake (5 miles) and either run the trail around the lake (approx. 6 miles if I go all the way around) and go for a swim after wards. My own personal triathelon. LOL

Thanks for all the helpful comments! So whay I'm going to do is keep my calories at the recommended 1580-1880 per day, but increase my protein. Will also eat my snacks so I don't get over hungry and make sure my snack includes protein and good carbs like whole grain, veg or fruit.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:48 AM   #11
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Wow, it sounds like you're already doing a great job. One little comment is that many fat free or low fat salad dressing are filled with High fructose corn syrup in place of the fat. HCFS causes cravings by inhibiting leptin secretion, the hormone that tells your brain you're full. It might be worth checking out the ingredient list on your dressing, bbq sauce and ketchup. Typically it's one of the major ingredients in these items.

I have the same problem with snacks as you have. I've have to schedule a snack in the afternoon, because otherwise I'm so hungry I could eat the counter itself when I get home from work in the afternoons.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:39 AM   #12
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I've learned to pack an extra piece of fruit on the days I work and I eat it in the car on the way home. That keeps me from eating everything in sight while I prepare dinner. Adding a string cheese would probably help even more.

And I would like to add, Jtammy, you have a LOT of 5 lb flowers down there! Excellent work!!
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:08 AM   #13
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It does sound like you are indeed doing a great job! I don't think you should be afraid to add cals as long as they're the rght foods. I always use this formula that I read in a magazine once... If you don't ever exercise multiply your weight by 14 and that's how many calories you need to MAINTAIN that weight. 15 if you exercise 3 xs a week for 40 minutes and 16 for 5-6 times @ 40 minutes. It was a big wake up call for me! Good luck!
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